I was reading a Vulture article about the new movie that is going to be made about Crazy Rich Asians, and I realized I had never read the book. The beauty of it was that I had three books to read and could go through them back to back (and that i did in a week!!). Here are my thoughts and why you should spend some time with these books.
Book1: Crazy Rich Asians
Goodreads blurb: When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers
my take: 4 out of 5. this is exactly what a chick lit book should acomplish. Easy reading, enthralling story and making me eat the whole book up in one sitting (including a long night in the process because I just needed to know what happened – my dark cirles were not pretty). Although it is not high literature or great example in character development, the story keeps you completely involved. And although i would appreciate not having to have a family tree like 100 years of solitude has, it came in quite handy. I would recommend this book for all chick lit lovers and would say it is a perfect beachside read for the coming months! The ending is quite abrubt and not as perfectly tied in a bow asI would like so make sure you have part 2 handy…
Book 2: China Rich Girlfriend
Goodreads blurb: On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiancé willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore’s It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia’s most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it’s like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich.
My take: 3.5 out of 5. It is definitely not as good as the original but still a fun read. I also love the fact that I waited to read the books and could get to them one after the other, because it is great to continue the stories. There is little resolution at the end of the first book so it was great to get the what happens next. A little more dramatic and less light that the first, but less characters are involved which allows for some further character development and exposition. I also liked how the new characters introduced helped the story along and were seamlessly tied with the frist book, so it wasnt just unnecessary new additions but great links. I also keep being a fan of the travel and food descriptions in these books. During half the book im either hungry for great asian food, wanting to get on a plane to discover a new destination or very jealous of their couture shopping sprees.
Book 3: Rich People Problems
Goodreads blurb: When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife–a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan’s gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia’s most privileged families.
My take: definitely the weakest of the three books, but bonus points for joining the first and second book characters and really tying everything up nicely in a bow (im a sucker for completely developed endings). The only thing I really hated – Kitty. It annoyed me that she was such a presence in the three books and exasperating character. IT probably is the most expected in terms of storyline, but a great conclusion for the series and for all the characters.
Note: You can click the links to order